Wisconsin Forward Award is Wisconsin’s premier recognition for workplace excellence.  Created in 1997 by then Governor Tommy Thompson and the Council for Workforce Investment, the program is designed to advance the competitive position of world-class status of Wisconsin organizations in the international marketplace; and to enhance learning, continuous improvement and enterprise performance.

• The prestigious Wisconsin Forward Award recognizes state organizations that have sharpened their competitive edge and are making an impact on the local, regional or global economy. A number of Wisconsin Forward Award recipients also went on to submit applications to the Baldrige National Quality Award.

• WFA evaluation process asks Wisconsin organizations to demonstrate superior management principles and practices against nationally recognized benchmarks.  Comprehensive feedback reports from specially trained examiners help participating organizations position themselves for changes in a dynamic and competitive marketplace. WFA offers several abbreviated application options to help organizations gain understanding of the process and the value of the Baldrige Framework.

• By understanding and applying the WFA/Baldrige Criteria, Wisconsin organizations can increase their ability to complete in the global marketplace, meet the growing demands of customers, and remain competitive. Organizations like these will produce good jobs, a skilled workforce, and a strong economic future for Wisconsin.

• There is unrelenting pressure on Wisconsin organizations to perform. To be successful in today’s marketplace, business leaders must promote clear values, communicate performance expectations, empower employees, understand and respond to the needs of customers, and create an environment of learning and innovation. Whether large or small, organizations making a real commitment to process improvement and learning see real results.

• WFA honors organizations that focus on what truly makes a difference—effective planning, a “future” orientation, and a willingness to make long-term commitments to customers, employees and their communities.

• Accountability for performance has become an expectation. Consumers can look to WFA as a third party endorsement—a sort of “quality seal of approval.” WFA honorees demonstrate a commitment to their customers,
their employees, and an economically strong America.

• Organizations representing business, education, health care, manufacturing, non-profit and the public sector are eligible to participate in the WFA program, and do so to demonstrate accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness.